Monday, July 02, 2012

“Fallujah”: Iraq Veteran Opera

1St Iraq Veteran Opera Puts Inner Turmoil On Stage
July 2, 2012 - After returning from the battlefields of Iraq, Christian Ellis found the only way to soothe the war wounds in his soul was by losing himself singing opera’s powerful, haunting songs.

Now the 29-year-old former Marine machine gunner— who has attempted suicide four times — is putting his pain on stage in the first opera believed written about the war: “Fallujah.”

The two-hour performance is an unnerving musical journey into his head.

Every week from July 2nd through Sept 11th will feature new episodes of Fallujah that feature interview and performance excerpts.

“Fallujah” was developed in Vancouver, Canada, by City Opera Vancouver with the help of a playwright, a composer, nine actors and an 11-member orchestra in a kind of performance laboratory. It will debut July 2 on and will be marketed to opera houses. It is an example of how battlefield trauma after a decade of war is shaping American art as countless veterans, like Ellis, find themselves fighting an even tougher battle at home against horrifying memories, survivor’s guilt and sorrow.

Art in its various forms is being used as a tool for veterans to come to terms with the bloodshed and adjust to civilian life. Many are telling of their pain in films, books, plays, rap music. Veterans hope by doing so they can foster understanding in a society largely disconnected from the war. read more>>>

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